Word Stress system of the Saraiki language





Saraiki, quantity-sensitive, Optimality Theory, trochaic structure, Metrical Phonology


This study presents an Optimality-Theoretic analysis of Saraiki word stress.  This study presents a first exploration of word stress in the framework of OT. Words in Saraiki are mostly short; secondary stress plays no role here. Saraiki stress is quantity-sensitive, so a distinction must be made between short and long vowels, and light and heavy syllables. A metrical foot can consist of one heavy syllable, two light syllables, or one light and one heavy syllable. The Foot structure starts from right to left in prosodic words. The foot is trochaic and the last consonant in Saraiki words is extra metrical. These generalizations are best captured by using metrical phonology first and Optimality constraints later on.


Download data is not yet available.


Anttila, A. (1997). Deriving variation from grammar: A study of Finnish genitives. In R. v. H. Frans L. Hinskens, W. Leo Wetzels (Eds.), Variation, change and phonological theory (pp. 35-68). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Atta, F. (2019). Phonetics and Phonology of the Saraiki language: a descriptive exploration and an analysis from the perspective of Optimality Theory (Ph.D. dissertation), Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai.

Atta, F., Weijer, J. v. d., & Zhu, L. (2020). Illustrations of the IPA: Saraiki. Journal of the International Phonetic Association.

Beckman, M. E. (1986). Stress and non-stress accent (Vol. 7). Holland/Riverton: Foris publications.

Broselow, E. (1992). Parametric variation in Arabic dialect phonology. Paper presented at the Perspectives on Arabic linguistics IV, Amsterdam & Philadelphia.

Cohn, A., & McCarthy, J. (1998). Alignment and parallelism in Indonesian phonology. Working Papers of the Cornell Phonetics Laboratory 12, 6, 53-137.

Halle, M., & Vergnaud, J.-R. (1987). Stress and the cycle. Linguistic inquiry, 18(1), 45-84.

Hall, T. A. (2002). The distribution of superheavy syllables in Standard German. The Linguistic Review, 19(4), 377-420.

Hansen, K. C., & Hansen, L. E. (1978). The core of Pintupi grammar. Australia: Institute for Aboriginal development Alice Springs.

Hayes, B. (1980). A Metrical Theory of Stress Rule. (Ph.D. dissertation), MIT was published in 1985 by Garland Press, New York.

Hayes, B. (1982). Extrametricality and English stress. Linguistic inquiry, 13(2), 227-276.

Hayes, B. (1989). Compensatory lengthening in moraic phonology. Linguistic inquiry, 20(2), 253-306.

Hayes, B. (1995). Metrical stress theory: Principles and case studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Inkelas, S. (1999). Exceptional stress-attracting suffixes in Turkish: representations versus the grammar. In R. Kager, H. v. d. Hulst, & W. Zonneveld (Eds.), The prosody-morphology interface (pp. 134-187). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kager, R. (1999). Optimality Theory (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kager, R. (2004). Optimality Theory (2nded.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Liberman, M. Y., & Prince, A. (1977). On stress and linguistic rhythm. Linguistic inquiry, 8(2), 249-336.

McCarthy, J. (1979). On stress and syllabification. Linguistic inquiry, 10(3), 443-465.

McCarthy, J. (1986). OCP effects: Gemination and antigemination. Linguistic inquiry, 17(2), 207-263.

Prince, A., & Smolensky, P. (1993). Optimality Theory. London: Blackwell.

Selkirk, E. O. (1980). The role of prosodic categories in English word stress. Linguistic inquiry, 11(3), 563-605.

Sezer, E. (1981). On non-final stress in Turkish. Journal of Turkish Studies, 5, 61-69.

Shackle, C. (1976). The Siraiki Language of central Pakistan: a reference grammar. London: School of Oriental and African studies university of London(SOAS).

Shafeev, D. (1964). A short grammatical outline of Pashto (Vol. 33). Bloomington: Indiana University.

Tryon, D. T. (1970). An Introduction to Maranungku (Northern Australia). Canberra, Australian National University.

Van Oostendorp, M. (2012). Quantity and the Three‐Syllable Window in Dutch Word Stress. Language and linguistics compass, 6(6), 343-358.




How to Cite

Atta, F. (2021). Word Stress system of the Saraiki language. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 11(1), 129–145. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.11.1.129-145



Research articles